Kindergarten classes still too big

21st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

21 August 2007, BRUSSELS – Kindergarten classes have not diminished in size despite promises from Flemish Minister for Education Frank Vandenbroucke at the beginning of this year. He promised an extra budget of EUR 20 million, but this has not had much effect, say school administrations.

21 August 2007

BRUSSELS – Kindergarten classes have not diminished in size despite promises from Flemish Minister for Education Frank Vandenbroucke at the beginning of this year. He promised an extra budget of EUR 20 million, but this has not had much effect, say school administrations.

Almost 3 percent of Flemish children rarely attend kindergarten, if at all. In order to get all children attending, Vandenbroucke (SP.A) made extra room in the budget earlier this year. More kindergarten teachers, classroom hours and extra day care hours were supposed to ensure that more children would be attending starting this school year and that class sizes would be smaller. Kindergarten classes often contain up to 30 children, even though 20 is the ideal size.

"The minister was too optimistic," says Guido Sauwens of the working group Kindergartens in Flanders, which represents schools from all networks. "The new measures look good on paper, but are hardly noticeable in practice. Besides, the problem remains that kindergartens still do not receive enough subsidies."

Vandenbroucke's ministry is asking the school administrations to be patient. "We have made deliberate choices that will result in smaller classes in the long term. Besides, it is usually up to the school administration itself whether to split a class or not."

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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